Steriflow was following up on a commercial opportunity in 2014, having been contracted by an American pharmaceutical laboratory to work on a major installation in South Korea. Several challenges arose, however.
Firstly, Steriflow had to deal with competitors trying to restrict the company to its main agribusiness market.
Secondly, there was the challenge of getting the different large international groups working in its target market to view Steriflow as legitimate. On top of this, the company needed to perfect its internal equipment validation process.
Lastly, it also assumed the technical risk of developing new equipment specifically intended for the pharmaceutical industry.
In response, Steriflow staff members worked for nearly three years on developing an ambitious customer relationship with South Korean industrials. The company’s representatives in the country were also responding to demands made by the ultimate customer, an American company. This included refining the sterilization cycles, digitizing documentation and getting precise autoclave data. All were issues where Steriflow staff paid very close attention.
The company also communicated internally feedback from its longstanding Korean customer. The end result was better control of customers’ validation processes, digitization of the tools that were part of this and increasingly fluid communications at every level.
The sale was a successful first act for Steriflow in the global industrial pharmacy market and allowed the company to pursue its internationalization trajectory. It also accounted for 10% of total 2014 revenue!
In 2019, the American laboratory’s European headquarters asked Steriflow to design a number of technical solutions, relating in particular to South Korea. After this presentation, three tests were organized in the Roanne pilot hall, successfully demonstrating the technical feasibility of using the equipment to sterilize water in pockets of pharmaceutical solution. Ultimately, this led to consideration of sterilization equipment being delivered to Belgium.
Having such an ambitious industrial structure in the pharmaceutical sector, in Europe and beyond, ended up as a significant reference for Steriflow!
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